Gregg Richards: Crowd carrying a “Say their names” banner gather at Grand Army Plaza for Black Lives Matter rally. Brooklyn Public Library’s Center for Brooklyn History.
Celebrated on June 19, Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the United States in 1865, and it has been marked by African Americans across the country for more than 150 years. Last year, Governor Cuomo made Juneteenth an official state holiday, and Mayor de Blasio made it a city and school holiday. On this occasion of the holiday’s first official year being observed, we’ve put together a list of events throughout New York City that celebrate and honor this sacred day, from film screenings and musical performances to panel discussions to walking tours.
Photo by Erick Zajac on Unsplash
Juneteenth has been observed by African Americans nationwide for more than 150 years as a celebration of the day enslaved Black people were liberated in the United States. This year, as Black Lives Matter demonstrations continue across New York City, the holiday takes on special significance as a day of action, reflection, and education. New York officials are recognizing the weight of the anniversary by making Juneteenth an official state holiday and a city holiday, set to be observed by public schools next year. Although the festivals and cookouts of the past are on hold this year in light of the coronavirus, there are many virtual and socially distanced events happening across the city, from a digital day of dance to a cyclist-led Freedom Ride.
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Photo of New York State Capitol by wadester16 on Flickr
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed an executive order recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees and said he will introduce legislation to make it an official New York State holiday next year. Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the United States in 1865 and is celebrated annually on June 19.
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